Breitling Watches – Precise and Rugged
Unless you’re a navigator, an aviator or a huge collector of wristwatches, you may not be familiar with Breitling watches. It’s not because they’re new; they’ve been around since 1884. They specialize in chronometers, however, and most of their models are made for men.
Their timepieces are quite accurate, extraordinarily well built and offer lots of gadgets for those so inclined. They’re not inexpensive, but they’re among the most rugged timepieces available at any price.
Read on for the full Breitling watches review.
These watches are made for people who are active, and as such, they are astonishingly rugged and durable. They use stainless steel and titanium cases and sapphire crystal for the face. Most of their watches are mechanical and may of them offer multiple complications.
Water resistance ratings are typically for a minimum of 100 meters, with some of their models rated to 1000 meters or more. These timepieces are built to last, and if you buy one today, your grandchildren may eventually wear it.
While they have always offered mechanical movements, some models now incorporate Swiss made quartz timekeeping. Most of their models are semiautomatic mechanical, with the famed Swiss construction for which the company has long been famous. Many of their models include hundreds of parts and nearly 50 jewels in their construction.
Breitling watches have long featured innovative features. All of their models include chronometer features, some models include 24 hour time, and even a tachometer. Their Aviator includes an emergency radio beacon and their Cockpit model offers multiple displays and a device to record departure times, arrival times and elapsed flight time. These aren’t features that just anyone needs, but if you are a pilot or simply like lots of gadgetry, you’ll love these wristwatches.
For the most part, the brand offers traditional chronometer styling, with colors favoring black and silver. Most displays are analog, though a few of their models incorporate both analog and digital displays. You’re going to see multiple dials, multiple displays, and various other indicators on the bezel surrounding the face.
Their models are available with leather, rubber and metal bracelet style bands. A few of their limited edition models feature a generous number of diamonds in their designs. These watches are not about fashion, per se; they’re mostly about function, though they are certainly attractive, in a businesslike way. Models favor men; we can’t find any women’s models in their current product line, though we’ve seen evidence that they’ve offered them in the past.
You’ll find that as these are precision instruments with unusual features and in some cases, incredible water resistance, that they do require more maintenance than your typical wristwatch. The company recommends that batteries be replaced annually for their quartz models and that users who spend a lot of time in or near the water have the company examine their watch annually to ensure that the seals remain watertight.
In addition, the company recommends that you send the watch back to them every 4-6 years, depending on use, for what they call an “intervention.” This is more or less a complete overhaul of the timepiece, including a cleaning, an oiling, replacement of worn parts, and a thorough inspection to make sure the unit continues to work as it did the day you bought it.
The company recommends that you rinse the watch in tap water after exposure to either salt water or chlorinated water and that you treat leather straps with a leather conditioner.
You’ll receive either a two year or five year warranty against defects in manufacture or materials, depending on the model. This is a typical warranty; we’d say that the mean length of time for warranties offered by luxury and designer watch manufacturers is two years. An extended warranty may be available for purchase when you buy the watch; be sure to inquire when you buy it if this is of interest to you.
There’s no point in denying the obvious: this brand is expensive, ranging from moderately so to incredibly so. We’ve seen some models for sale in the $2500 range, but we have also seen some ultra-limited (fewer than 10 pieces made) models for sale in the $200,000 range.
Most of the models in the company’s product line currently sell for $4000 to $10,000. That’s a lot of money, but these timepieces are built like tanks and the company offers top-notch service and maintenance, so you’re likely to be able to wear this watch for the rest of your life if you want, and you’re going to know that the timepiece is extremely accurate and that it’s going to work reliably, probably forever. There’s value in that, but you’re going to have to pay for it.
There is also a lot of collector interest in Breitling watches.
Where can you find the brand for sale? The company owns a few stores, called “boutiques”, but they only have four of them in the United States – Las Vegas, Orlando, Miami, and New York. On the other hand, you can buy them at about 100 different authorized dealers around the United States.
These dealers are all fine jewelers; you’re not going to find them for sale in department stores. You can occasionally find them for sale online, though most online retailers only stock a few models. The company currently has about 50 models in their product line and occasionally offers limited edition items; it’s unlikely that any one retailer is going to have them all, so you may have to shop around a bit if there’s something in particular you’re looking for.
You won’t be surprised to find that Breitling watches are not for everyone. Yes, they’re among the best-built and most rugged models out there, and yes, the offer lots of features and innovation. But their styling says more about science and aviation than fashion, and they mostly make watches for men.
On top of that, their timepieces are very expensive. They also look great, keep accurate time, offer features you can’t get in other timepieces, and are likely to last forever. If you like rugged good looks and exceptional service and want a watch that isn’t going to look like that of anyone else you know, then you’ll love Breitling watches.